The Patience of Generals


Crashing, the crystal world subsides into frozen pasture:
to the mansion with the revolver, walking across beaches of ice,
frosted outline of picket fence and debris of military lies.
I pay for my donkey-like persistence by being arrested.
Isn’t there going to be a honeymoon, grown-up, masculine?
We are Mrs. Thibodeaux, I thought glancing at the speaker.
Under the pyramids, cries assail us now from the Bedouins;
the red letter, the perfect baby: war on top of the world.
Little cousin, what is it I see on the horizon, dark like water?
Heckley says he should fetch the president from the war department,
dear God in Heaven, whispers Seward to the deity capable of nothing
in Monterey, the resort hotel to whose glare-blinding sunset we’ve come.
The promise has been duly compromised, Mr. Trezavent, Cobb says.
My American correspondent asks, what are the French losses?
Being the quiet American, I conclude, we get out and start to walk.


Anis Shivani